Well, the weather in Southern Ontario has been ridiculous lately with rain and grey skies every day. On Saturday, I decided that I had enough of the rain and made my way to the garden centre to pick-up some annuals for our garden. The garden centre was DEAD….it seemed like I was the only one there! I didn’t let that deter me — I managed to fill my cart up with beautiful annuals that will bring instant life and colour to our gardens.
I managed to get the front garden done, but by the end of the day, I was a soggy, wet mess. I opted to leave the backyard gardening for another weekend.
However, I’m too excited to wait to post some photos of our gardening projects! But, I will. I want you all to see the whole project, from start to finish, which started….ohhh, four years ago!
Here’s a sneak peek at our gardens with a few tips to help you get your own landscaping projects underway without spending a lot of dough. Remember, my goal for every project is getting that big bang, for little buck!
Find your focal point
Ted and I toyed around with the idea of creating a focal point using a water feature in our yard. The cost of water features can be quite pricey, plus they require electrical, so we decided that for our purposes a water feature would be nice, but not necessary.
We turned our attention to finding an urn to fill with overflowing flowers. I didn’t want to fork out a lot of money to buy an urn, so I put my thinking cap on and poked around our shed to find something else that would work — like, this decorative drink cooler.
- Drink cooler turned garden urn
First, I drilled four small holes in the aluminum barrel to allow for drainage. Then, I filled the barrel with a few heavy rocks to ensure it wouldn’t tip over in a storm. I purchased a large hanging basket from the garden centre, placed it in the barrel and cut off the hangers. And, voila — instant colour and impact, creating a beautiful focal point that you see when walking into the yard.
Invest in perennials
Perennials provide lasting beauty and impact year after year. When we started to plan our landscaping projects, I made sure to include a variety of perennials in our gardens. Since most perennials only bloom for six to eight weeks, I made sure to plant a succession of blooms to ensure that our garden is full of colour throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. There are thousands of perennials to choose from with all kinds of colours, shapes and sizes.
In our gardens, I planted a few varieties of Phlox for some springtime colour. This patch of Phlox just started to bloom this week.
- Phlox in bloom
Think outside of the garden centre
When starting our gardens, the costs of plants and shrubs was adding up very quickly. I had to find other avenues to help keep the cost of our plants on budget. Since I knew I wanted to plant a variety of perennials, I decided to see what other gardeners had for sale on websites like Kijiji or Craigslist. The spring is a great time to find fellow gardeners looking to part with plants, as many perennials require dividing when they become too large.
I found a lady in my city that was dividing her hosta plants. She was selling individual hosta plants for a $1. Sure, they were on the small side, but look at how large they are one season later.
- Hosta in bloom (and our dog Mason)
Depending on the variety of the plant, size and maturity, the cost of hosta plants can add up — anywhere from $4 – $5. I was able to buy 20 plants for $20. Not bad if I say so myself!
So, there you have it. A sneak peek at our gardens and a few tips for good measure. Here’s hoping that the weather for Victoria Day Weekend is dry and sunny so I can finish the back garden and show you the entire project, from start to finish!
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The Cottage Chick